(Warning: a blue collar rant)
This morning, while posting my daily Facebook blog, the app. showed my own mugshot to me and advised that this guy and I have nine mutual friends. OK? Lately, they’ve been sending out repeat friendship requests on my behalf to various facebook acquaintances. Interestingly, Facebook has no live complaint department a person can contact. Social media, oh yeah! I’m weary of young girls, and a few men, who want to show me their body parts and are declaring their profound love to this old stranger. I’ve unsubscribed from Facebook in disgust once before, which was a biblically complicated ordeal but I’m close to leaving again. I’d been persuaded that Facebook was the epicentre of social media and e-commerce. I needed to be there to further my interests. It’s the way things are done now. Well, I’ve seen no cheques. Haar! I’m losing interest. If this is indeed one of society’s prime fulcrums, we’re deep in the cack!
Perhaps I’m in an advanced state of cabin fever after a long, grey winter. Jill has been ill the whole time, we have tight funds and are restricted to a close-range dull existence. I am frustrated and yes, angry. I do find delight in events like multi-billion dollar jet fighter defense umbrellas being thwarted by simple balloons. I’ve found some fun in inventing scenarios like an explosion in a North Korean condom factory. A friend reminded me that during WWII Japan was successful in sending paper balloons with bombs to North America. Simple wins! So, when an F-69 blasts a carnival because some child lost their birthday balloon….. Yep, it’s crazy out there!
This last week has tipped my canoe. I am tired of feeling like a sub-species because I am an older man. I have lived my biblical span of three score and ten. To make things worse, I am a white male heterosexual, married to a woman for more than six months, and I have earned a living from different BC resource industries. Wot a loser! I have realized that I am a member of the “Last Nation.” Do I sound jaded? Bet yer arse Billy! I’m burned out from years of bashing and smashing myself up in the woods and at sea. That doesn’t compare with the thrashing you take from the squadrons of bureaucratic desk jockeys along the way who cavalierly try to control a person’s existence. I feel tossed out at a time when I have my best to offer. All those years of experience, developed skills and perspectives to pass on and I’m left to feel like a discarded fast-food wrapper blowing in the wind. I guess I never did learn to work clever instead of simply hard. Clever like a donkey. All I can do is try to make a difference with my writing and photography.
Now understand this, I refuse to regard people in terms of age, gender, race or social circumstance. Religion? Believe what you want, just do not try to impose it on me. Part of my spiritual dogma is tolerance, but don’t press your insecurity on me, just show me your better way. As one of my senior employees once told a snippy young government brown shirt, “ Son if I come over there and pull down yer pants, we’re gonna find a belly button and an arsehole just like the rest of us.” His message, in best Redneck eloquence, was that we’re all in this together and nobody is superior, or inferior, to anyone else; not if we’re all doing our best.
Twenty-three years ago I endured an accident and injury which required the installation of a dacron aorta and some other repairs to my heart. Doctors told me I’d never be able to go back to work as I had. The surgeon gave me twenty years to live but the bugger refused to sign a letter agreeing that a severe trauma was probably the cause of the injury. That gave license to WorkSafe BC to cock their leg on me despite all the other medical reports. The union was not inclined to take its feet off the desk and support the cause of one paying labour brother. At a time like that, you don’t have the berries to get up on your knees and fight for yourself. You need a little help. Life is not fair, I’ve made my own way and, for a while, have even gone back to the type of work I was advised to avoid. I’m not complaining although it’s damned tough to survive as a geezer with a tiny pension. Bought a cabbage lately?
What does piss me off is all the folks who seem to think the world owes them something for simply showing up and that the solution for their problems is to throw huge lumps of money their way. I’m damned tired of one ethnic group or another claiming discrimination because someone didn’t get a mortgage as expected, or a promotion at work or a political appointment. Fewer folks in this province now work in a resource-based industry, they don’t actually produce anything. Poking at a computer keyboard a few hours per week has nothing to do with the raw mass we eat and otherwise consume. I’m also fed up with some folks asking me to step aside and bend over because of their personal anomalies. If you choose to marry a duck, and have that bird’s mutual consent and affection, go for it. That’s your business, you don’t need to make it mine. We are all engineered to be heterosexual. That’s how you got to be here. If you have other gratifications, it is your business, not my obligation, to embrace. So, when are we going to have a heterosexual rights parade? We’re normal!
This is in a province that should be entirely self-sufficient in all ways. We should be exporting much, much more than we import. It seems to me that a lot of folks are very detached from basic reality and have ridiculous expectations. Not fitting into this new world order, and I don’t want to fit, leaves me feeling that I am a member of a group that is indeed a “Last Nation.” And to all of you self-appointed “environmentalists” who live somewhere in a multi-level condo within the biggest clear-cut in the province, commonly called the “Lower Mainland;” quit all your consuming and go learn something about what it is you say is so precious to you. Otherwise, go to hell. How’s that for politically correct?
Considering so many other places on the planet, we are all so very well off here. We’ve no real clue about suffering, deprivation and discrimination. So, when I hear from a group wanting to start a special appeal for funding research about women’s heart health, or someone complaining about not getting a mortgage because of their ethnic tone….Jeez Louise. REALLY? If staying alive meant accepting the implant of a black male pig heart, would you turn it down? You cannot have equal rights and special rights at the same time. I’m beginning to clearly understand the discrimination that seniors endure living in a condition towards which we all progress without choice. Just remember, don’t piss us off, we don’t have much left to lose! I worked hard to get here and I will not be dismissed as a minority.
I do worry about ending up in a hospital bed, plumbed with a macrame of tubes and wires, staring endlessly at a poo-brindle beige ceiling while waiting for the lights to go out and knowing I still had much more to give. I’ve been there; it’s horrible. I’d prefer to die in the saddle, trying to still do something positive and meaningful.
I refuse to watch those ridiculous TV wilderness survival unreality shows, but I’m wondering about one for not-so-sexy geezers doing the same sort of thing. Remember the story about the old bull and the young one? Upon discovering a herd of heifers, the young bull wanted to run over and make love to one. The old bull suggested that by walking over, they’d have enough energy to make love to them all. We could call the program the “Last Nation.”
In a few days, I’ll travel to Astoria, Oregon. For the first time since Covid reared its ugly head, we are meeting again in person. It is a gathering of professional mariners, especially fishermen, who write, read and sing some amazing material about their life at sea. Check out fisherpoets.org. Love to see you there, or have you listen on the various radio taps available.
“We may have all come on different ships,
but we’re in the same boat now.”
– MARTIN LUTHER KING JR.